President Donald Trump blasted ESPN for its “SportsCenter” co-host Jemele Hill, charging that the politically outspoken sportscaster is to blame for the network’s ratings troubles.
“With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have ‘tanked,'” POTUS tweeted Tuesday morning. “In fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!”
Hill was suspended on Monday for using her personal Twitter account to call for a boycott of Dallas Cowboys-advertisers after team owner Jerry Jones demanded his players stand for the national anthem or be benched. That didn’t go over well with her employer.
“Jemele Hill has been suspended for two weeks for a second violation of our social media guidelines,” ESPN said in a statement. “She previously acknowledged letting her colleagues and company do with an impulsive tweet.”
That line referred to her calling President Trump a “white supremacist” a few weeks back. She had some unkind things to say about his supporters as well, though Hill got off with just a warning.
“In the aftermath, all employees were reminded of how individual tweets may reflect negatively on ESPN and that such actions would have consequences,” the Monday statement continued. “Hence this decision.”
Hill’s “SC6” co-anchor Michael Smith decided to sit out Monday’s broadcast in a decision described as a “mutual” one between Smith and the network.